My morning routine, whilst sitting on the retrievers, would commence the same way every day with me uncovering the parrot and feeding the cat before releasing the beasts from their crates in the conservatory, where they’d spent the night. There would be a brief period of manic barking, tail wagging and some spinning around in circles before the dogs tore through the house to the kitchen door and out into the garden to empty themselves. This dash was often interrupted when one of the goldies, usually Pip, would snaffle some of the cat food, left unattended by Lucy, who’d sensibly jump up onto the kitchen counter to avoid being knocked over in the stampede!

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